This 16-inch Wade saddle has a 5-inch horn cap and 3 1/2-inch by 12 1/2-inch cantle. It is a 90-degree tree with a 4-inch by 6 1/4-inch gullet. The saddle is decorated with a full geometric stamp mixed with floral carving. Dan made some of the stamp tools used, including the round shaped stamp and the dot border stamp used in the geometric. He has built his own trees since 1996, but currently has Jeston Cundall building trees for him. The stirrups were made by Bucky and Robin Johnson, Lima, Montana, and the silver trim was made by Chris Cheney, Rexburg, Idaho.
DAN MAYER, Saddlemaker, Lima, Montana
Dan Mayer was raised on a ranch near Lima, Montana. His parents started him on leather kit projects when he was 12 years old and as a teen he made chaps, belts and other gear, and rebuilt an old saddle. In 1983 his father suggested that he look into building saddles for a living as an alternative to ranching. Early influences in developing his saddlemaking career were Dale Harwood and George Holt and Dale continues to be a great influence and friend. In 1996, Dan began making his own saddle trees with the help of John Michaud. He has been building saddles for a living full time since then.
Photos by Jeremiah Watt